Tag Archives: sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit

School bus company Berry Services sued for sexual harassment

In late September, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against New Orleans-based school bus provider Berry Services Inc. for retaliating against employees who complained about sexual harassment.

The owner of Berry Services, Milton Berry, has been accused of sexual harassment by at least three female employees during 2003-2007. 

One of the alleged victims, Lakisha Baker, claims that Berry sexually propositioned and touched her on her first day of work in November 2006 and then harassed her on a daily basis until firing her in February 2007 in retaliation after Baker refused Berry’s order to call him to discuss having sex. 

The lawsuit states that “on one occasion Mr. Berry pulled her pants down and tried to touch her” and that Berry also offered Baker a promotion or salary increase in exchange for oral sex.

Michelle Butler, senior trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said that although none of the alleged incidents of sexual harassment occurred in the presence of school students, she was still concerned that “he is providing service to where he would have access to children.”

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EEOC sues Boh Bros. for alleged sexually hostile work environment

The EEOC has filed a lawsuit against Boh Bros. Construction Co. for allegedly subjecting a male employee to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment that consisted of repeated “unwelcome verbal and physical sexual taunting, innuendo, and sexual advances” by the site superintendent at a post-Hurricane Katrina bridge repair project.

The lawsuit claims that ironworker Kerry Woods was harassed in 2006 by the superintendent, who accused Woods of being a homosexual and who stood behind him and pretended to have anal sex with him.

After Woods complained about the workplace bullying, Boh Bros. allegedly retaliated against him by transferring him to another company facility and reducing his salary.  Woods was then fired in early 2007 shortly after his transfer.

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Louisville Animal Services director sued for sexual harassment and retaliation

Dawn Simpson, a former animal-care manager at the Louisville Metro Animal Services Center, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Animal Services Director Gilles Meloche for creating a “toxic, intolerable and hostile work environment” from which “she had no choice but to resign.”

Meloche’s assistant, Wayne Zelinsky, was also named in the suit for retaliating against Simpson after she filed the sexual harassment complaint.  Simpson’s requests for time off were then allegedly ignored, she was unfairly disciplined, and she had duties and responsibilities taken away.

Simpson’s lawsuit claims that Meloche’s harassment started three days after she started working for the department.  She says Meloche repeatedly touched her stomach and lower back in a “sexually suggestive/flirting manner.”

After Simpson complained about the harassment to Zelinsky, he allegedly took no action other than telling her that Meloche “doesn’t understand the concept of personal space.”

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UMD instructor Rod Raymond investigated for sexual harassment and creating hostile work environment

Following complaints by numerous women about a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior by University of Minnesota Duluth fitness instructor Rod Raymond, the UMD Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity conducted an investigation.

In her investigation, UMD director Deborah Petersen-Perlman heard from numerous women who said that Raymond made sexual advances toward them in “a pattern of sexually inappropriate language and behavior.”  Raymond also allegedly retaliated against some of the women complained about his harassment.

Rod Raymond

Rod Raymond

Petersen-Perlman’s July 2009 report concluded that “by not taking a strong stand against this behavior, we place UMD in a vulnerable position vis-à-vis a lawsuit with respect to sexual harassment.”

Though Petersen-Perlman’s investigation recommended that Raymond be fired for creating “a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment,” UMD administrators chose to allow Raymond to keep his job, where he still teaches today, and to limit their actions to a few light sanctions.

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Woman who filed sexual harassment lawsuit killed in house fire

Bianca Wisniewski Kuros, 44, was killed on Saturday when a fire engulfed her Queens, NY apartment, just two days before the first court hearing in her $20 million sexual harassment lawsuit.  One of Kuros’ two teenage daughters and two men in their 50s were critically injured in the fire, according to fire department officials.

Kuros’ attorney said that her sexual harassment lawsuit, which was filed in July against JPMorgan Chase, Total Safety Consulting, and a male coworker will continue despite her death.

The lawsuit alleges that Kuros was sexually propositioned, groped, and subjected to lewd comments by Steve Greco, an elevator engineer, on a Park Avenue construction site owned by JPMorgan Chase.

Kuros was then replaced as safety inspector in November 2007 after she complained to supervisors about Greco’s harassment and her hostile work environment.

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Kansas congressional candidate sued for creating hostile work environment

Ann Rollins Johnson, the former director of the Salina Housing Authority in Kansas, filed a lawsuit against congressional candidate Alan Jilka for allegedly making sexual advances towards Johnson and then trying to get her fired for refusing Jilka’s sexual advances

Congressional Candidate Alan Jilka

Congressional Candidate Alan Jilka

The federal lawsuit, filed on October 13, alleges that Jilka subjected Johnson to “severe, pervasive and ongoing sexual harassment by and through a hostile work environment based on her sex or gender because she would not become involved romantically” with Jilka.

Alan Jilka is a former Salina mayor and city commissioner who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Kansas congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Moran.

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EEOC files lawsuit against Sonic Drive-In for sexual harassment and retaliation

The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Sonic Drive-In of Los Lunas, Ltd., and B&B Consultants, Inc., doing business as Sonic Drive-In in Los Lunas, N.M., for not stopping a Sonic supervisor from subjecting female employees to sexual harassment and retaliating against the women who complained about the hostile work environment.

The EEOC lawsuit alleges that a number of female employees were forced to endure pervasive sexual comments and innuendo and unwelcome touching of bodies.  The lawsuit claims that the ongoing harassment and retaliation caused several women to leave their jobs at Sonic Drive-In.

“Our investigation revealed that a managerial supervisor was permitted to harass these women in the workplace and Sonic did not act promptly to provide corrective relief.” said EEOC Phoenix Acting District Director Rayford Irvin. “Employers have an important responsibility to protect their employees from harassment and retaliation in the workplace.”

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